On Pussy Riot (with New Single "Putin Lights Up the Fires"

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In news that's been pretty pervasive across the internet, Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk trio have been found guilty of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" over a punk prayer in a church. Three members will serve 2 years in prison from the start of their incarceration.  Word from The Guardian is that they laughed.

This is the "prayer" they are being put away for:


Punk-Prayer "Virgin Mary, Put Putin Away"


(choir)


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away

Рut Putin away, put Putin away


(end chorus) ...

Black robe, golden epaulettes

All parishioners crawl to bow

The phantom of liberty is in heaven
Gay-pride sent to Siberia in chains


The head of the KGB, their chief saint,

Leads protesters to prison under escort

In order not to offend His Holiness

Women must give birth and love

Shit, shit, the Lord's shit!

Shit, shit, the Lord's shit!


(Chorus)


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, become a feminist

Become a feminist, become a feminist


(end chorus)


The Church’s praise of rotten dictators

The cross-bearer procession of black limousines

A teacher-preacher will meet you at school

Go to class - bring him money!

Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin

Bitch, better believe in God instead

The belt of the Virgin can’t replace mass-meetings

Mary, Mother of God, is with us in protest!

(Chorus)


Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away

Рut Putin away, put Putin away


(end chorus)




There's no doubt that the above rankled many, many feathers in Russian society.  For a country has re-brokered power with the Orthodox community, whose leader is establishing his own pseudo-regime, the actions of Pussy Riot are unforgivable -- equating Putin with God; asking Mary to become a feminist; and taking this to the exact seat of power, the cathedral.


There's only one problem.  IT'S MUSIC.  Putin is NOT God.  Mary (at least in most religious conceptions of her) is NOT a feminist.  And Pussy Riot ARE NOT criminals.  Our continuing problems when issues like this come along.  Don't be mistaken, this happens, though in more subtle ways in the place for GodHomeMomAndTheGirlNextDoor, USA.   But when this sort of thing happens, it's due to a basic misunderstanding at the realm of the power of music or art.  See, music has no actual power in this world.  This is both its blessing and its curse.  It's able to trick us, to make us believe, but only for the duration of the song.  Pussy Riot's Kafkaesque trial is the latest in a string of fundamental problems between the political world and the artistic one.  While politicians and religious institutions remain conservative enterprises to keep reactionaries happy, artists remain committed to causes to overthrow these powers and ideologies.  Politicians have courts and trials and bullshit claims.  Musicians have music.  You tell me which one of those has an "actual" weight.

What if they had shrugged off this punk prayer, which, I might add is pretty damn fun to read? Would the church collapse?  Would it be profaned?  Would the state crumble?  

No.  

This must be why Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich are laughing in court.  They took it all so seriously.

Here's to you, Pussy Riot.  Stay the course.  We'll keep petitioning till you're out of there.

UPDATE:  
The Guardian has posted a video to go along with Pussy Riot's new single  "Putin Lights Up the Fires," a perhaps ominous reference to witch-hunting.  Watch it below:



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